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America's Education Problems Way Deeper Than 'Good' or 'Bad' Teachers

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 09:26 AM
Original message
America's Education Problems Way Deeper Than 'Good' or 'Bad' Teachers
Educational disparities may be getting worse, not better, yet the heated debate over school reform has paid little attention to the hard realities families and teachers face.
May 30, 2011

Last year in East LA, Jose Pedraza was struggling mightily in his classes and drifting listlessly through his days. It was worrying enough to his teachers at Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter School, where he was then a junior, that the principal called his mother Pascuala Jaramillo and asked for an urgent meeting.

Jaramillo, a seasoned education activist who had organized other parents and made it a point to get to know her kids teachers, grabbed what she calls her bible and ran straight to the school. Its actually not a holy book, but rather a binder of her kids education documents and information about her own parental rightseverything I need to defend myself, she explains. Her years of organizing other parents taught her that teachers and administrators are often too burdened by their work to be effective advocates for their students. She went ready to fight, if she had to.

When I got to the school, I got notes telling me that my son wasnt really working, Jaramillo says. The principal said, His body is here, but his brain is not in the room.

Jaramillo immediately understood what was going on. She told the principal what their family had been dealing with at home. Her husband, Guadalupe Pedraza, had been abruptly laid off from his maintenance job recently. After 12 years working there, he was told on a Wednesday that his last day would be that Friday.

more . . . http://www.alternet.org/story/150909/america\'s_educati...
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Ya think?
K and R

:)
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks Smarmie!
I just put a link up in the Education forum to register for the conference preceding the march in DC. If you're interested. :hi:
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. I'll check it out but probably can only do the March.
Meantime, I'll plug the March in my chapter newsletter.

Also here, if I can. How can I get my filthy hands on that avatar of yours?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I can email it to you
:hi:

Thanks for the help with promotion!
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Never Stop Dancin Donating Member (173 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. America's Education Problems Way Deeper
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
4. Those aren't education problems
Those are fundamental cultural problems.

OF COURSE public school can't save kids when their parents lose their work and are tossed in the street. And romanticizing the occasional superhuman parent who does a Martha Stewart job of being homeless doesn't really help.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. This is why one of my friends quit teaching in public schools
She was a teacher, not a social worker and had absolutely no training, preparation or mentoring to deal with the problems kids were bringing to school other than a police seminar on recognizing the signs a child might be living in a meth lab.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Schools are only as successful as the communities they serve
That's one of those secrets they don't teach you in college.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. +100.
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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
7. Transience is one of the primary predictors of school failure
I used to do educational research for a textbook publisher. They wanted to know 1) why kids failed and 2) why educational costs (K-12) were skyrocketing.

The second was easy, if surprising: Most of the cost increases at the time were being driven by huge increases in the need to spend on Special Ed.

The first is more complex, but boiled down to poverty and transience. If you're always hopping around to different schools because of financial problems, your chances for academic success are slim. Migrant worker children are most affected by this, but the non-migrant poor (like the people profiled in the article) also end up moving a lot.

If you're interested in this topic, the US Dept of Education is an amazing resource for statistics on education and outcomes.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. agree.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
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